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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

The United States of Trump and the United States of America: Is It Time to Separate?

Virginia Slavery Map 1861 by US Coast Survey before the split (Library of Congress)

America’s Third Civil War is accelerating and in unexpected ways. There has been a change in the tone of the discourse. I have been writing about the Third Civil War for years. During that time, people generally talked about the Culture Wars instead. Recently there has developed a more realistic concept of the stakes involved. The national effort to suppress the vote is only part of the changed circumstances. This time it is accompanied by a change in the certification of the winner where Trumpican state legislatures will make the decision. What is at stake now is not the relitigation of 2020 but the rigging of the vote for 2024 for a preordained result. There is an open awareness that the continued existence of the United States as a constitutional republic is now at stake.

THE THREE CIVIL WARS

These changes present the country with new challenges and therefore the need for new solutions. Let’s review the situation.

The First Civil War was an all-or-nothing conflict. Both the Loyalists and the Patriots engaged in a winner-take-all war. Each side sought to govern all 13 states or to maintain all 13 as colonies. The British might have been willing to lose the North if it could have kept the South but thanks to Cornwallis, we will never know.

The Second Civil War was different. The Confederacy was willing to settle for half-a-loaf, the same area the British might have settled for. It did not seek the conquest of the North or to impose its way of life on the Union. By contrast, the Union as befitting its name sought dominion over the country.

The Third Civil War at present is being waged along the lines of the first one. Each side wants to govern the entire country.

The question to be raised now is are the two sides willing to settle for half-a-loaf or is it winner take all?

SEPARATION ALREADY UNDERWAY

The question is not moot. The process of dividing into two countries already is underway. I am not simply referring to the well-known voting patterns with the infamous red and blue maps of Presidential elections. I am referring to how we live.

The first major example of the separation this century occurred with Medicaid. It was up to each state as to whether or not to participate in the Medicaid expansion. To the surprise of no one, the participation breakdown followed the presidential voting pattern with the Confederacy taking the lead in not joining the Union program.

Recent events have continued this pattern:

1. the lawsuit to the Supreme Court to invalidate the election
2. the support for the efforts of the loser to steal the election
3. the support for the insurrection on January 6
4. the lack of support for holding the instigator of the insurrection responsible
5. the lack of support for creating a January 6 commission to document the truth
6. the effort to restrict and suppress voting
7. the effort to rig how the votes are certified
8. the cessation of the $300 supplement.

One does not need a degree in statistics to see the consistency in approach taken by the states led but not limited to the Confederacy. This continuity of the South through the three civil wars renders meaningless Lincoln’s observation that a house divided can not stand. We are not a house divided, we are two houses and have been right from the start.

Polls indicate the roughly one-quarter of Trumpicans see a Storm coming when Satanic-worshiping pedophiles will finally get what is coming to them.

Polls indicate that roughly one-quarter of Trumpicans agree that violence will be needed to save the country.

Even as Michael Flynn walks back his support for a coup, the fact still remains that the question was asked with great seriousness and Flynn’s supportive response was welcomed by the QAnon audience, one of the leading religious groups in the United States now.

It should be noted that gun sales are skyrocketing. People are armed and ready for action.

2024 ELECTIONS

What will it take to light the fuse? What will it take to spark the fighting? What will be involved in transforming the mostly peaceful Civil War so far excluding January 6 to a more violent one?

Personally, my best guess as of now is the 2024 Presidential elections with 2022 serving as a preview. Neither side will accept the results of the election. We already know that. In this regard, 2020 was practice for 2024. What will happen when one side refuses to accept the results in 2024?

Scenario 1: Suppose despite all the voter suppression and rigged certification, Joe Biden wins re-election, what will Trumpicans do? One might think that under those circumstances it would be impossible for Trumpicans to declare that the election was stolen. Given all the changes they have implemented, how could they do so? Under normal circumstances that would be true. However if Biden wins again despite the Trumpican effort to rig the vote, Trumpicans will be desperate. At this point, what can they do to save the country? The answer will be a violent one. To anticipate and mitigate that possibility, if separation into the United States of America and the United States of Trump is already planned, the need for a violent resolution may be curtailed. Instead the division will be embraced.

Scenario 2: The voter suppression and rigged certification work and Joe Biden is defeated. If Trumpicans prevail in 2024, California and New York immediately will embrace John C. Calhoun and become champions of state’s rights. A lot will depend on who controls the Congress since we have seen how the losing side can attempt to derail the winner. For that matter, who knows what issues will be raised regarding the election of the Representatives and Senators.

At this point there are too many fluid variables to determine what the likely course of action will be except that it will be ugly.

THE WEST VIRGINIA SOLUTION

The key to minimizing the violence and uncertainty may be in following the example of West Virginia. In the Second Civil War, the people of what became West Virginia separated from the Confederate state of Virginia. They did not ask Virginia’s permission; they just did it and with the Federal approval.

We need to follow that precedent. The eleven Confederate states need to divide into their constituent parts – part Trumpican and part American. The boundary lines should not be that difficult to determine. There already are gerrymandered districts at the Congressional and state level. Voting results are known at the county level. As part of the post-2020 census reapportionment, the Confederate state legislatures effectively will divide their states into two groups. The next step is to take that division further by creating separate states based on those boundary lines drawn by the Confederates.

The result will be eleven new states. They will need names. They will need a constitution. It very well could be the existing state constitution with a name change will do. Either the Trumpican state or the Union state will need a new capital depending on where the current capital is located. The Congressional representatives will need to be allocated between the two states based on population. Each state will be entitled to two Senators so most likely the new state will elect two Senators in 2024 but that will vary from state to state.

Obviously there will be issues to decide. Where is the Department of Election located? Motor Vehicles? The State University campuses? The State prisons? Computer files will need to be transmitted. Pensions will need to be allocated. Each state will have its own voting guidelines. These are straightforward decisions given that both sides will welcome the separation.

BENEFITS OF THE WEST VIRGINIA SOLUTION

Consider the benefits of dividing the eleven Confederate states into their Trumpican and American components.

1. There will be no need to suppress the vote.
2. There will be no need to rig the winner certification process.
3. There will be no uncertainty about who will win in each state.
4. There will be a ratcheting down of tension since there is nothing to fight over.

Take Georgia as an example. Instead of 16 electoral votes in a winner-take-all battleground, there will be two states. Each will have 7 Representatives reflecting the virtual 50:50 split of the statewide vote in the presidential and Senate elections in 2020. Each will have two Senators. The total of 18 electors will be split 9:9 in 2024. This will represent a gain of 9 for the Trumpicans and loss of 7 for Biden. Of course, the results in Florida and Texas will favor Biden. To some extent, the process matches what Maine and Nebraska do now in allocating electoral votes by congressional district. The difference will be that state will have split into two. Temporarily there will be 61 states. Other states outside the Confederacy may wish to split into two parts as well increasing that number. That will last only until the Trumpican states separate from the United States (July 4, 2026?). In the meantime, all will be quiet on the voting front and the trench warfare will cease.

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